En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 08, 2009

From: Virginia Beach, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Seasonal Tasks, Transplants
Title: Transplant time for Virginia Beach, VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a friend who is not a gardener but lives on a piece of property that has a gorgeous back yard with lots of plants, shrubs and trees that are becoming overgrown. I have her permission to dig up and transplant in my yard anything I want. When is the best time to do this? I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia, zone 7/8. Is the timing dependent on the plant or the growing zone?

ANSWER:

Ordinarily, the timing of transplanting is dependent on the climate in which the plant is being grown. The worst danger to a plant being moved is transplant shock. If, as its roots are struggling to get nutrients out of the soil and pass that and water up to the leaves that are struggling to manufacture food for the plant, the plant has to face extreme heat or extreme cold, it will probably not survive. In a climate as warm as yours, the best transplant time would probably be around November. You are not likely to have a severe freeze that can kill the exposed plants that early in the year, and most of those plants will have gone into a state of semi-dormancy anyway.

The most difficult plants are the woody ones-trees and shrubs. Just be careful and don't get in over your head. If you have to damage a too-large tree or shrub to get it moved, it probably won't do well and neither will you. From About.com: Landscaping we found this website on Transplant - Transplanting Trees and Shrubs.  If there are specific plants you want to transplant, you can Google "transplant iris" (for example) and you will no doubt find several good websites with information on that specific plant or type of plant. Another good website just on transplanting in general is this Michigan State University Extension article Transplanting

And, finally, spend the time between now and the actual transplanting preparing both your garden and the plants that are going to move to your garden. You will note some of the information on transplanting woody plants advises trimming roots some time before the actual move. You probably will also want to trim the tops of the plants to make up for the loss of roots in the move. And certainly you should prepare the soil in your garden, mixing in compost and making sure the drainage is good. Then, when it cools off and you're ready to start moving plants, everything will be ready. Hopefully, you will be, too. 

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Caring for Texas Buckeye in Buda TX
February 07, 2011 - I have a Texas Buckeye that is planted in a moderate amount of shade. It is growing very slowly, and only holds on to it's leaves from late March to August. It has been in the ground for about 4-5 ye...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree transplant in Elgin, TX
August 26, 2008 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about how to encourage a very young pecan sapling to grow, and whether I should use mulch to do so. I live in Elgin (Bastrop County) and the soil is extr...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive creeping fig in Webster TX
May 26, 2013 - We've recently moved into a new home in the southeast Houston area. The back of our property has a long concrete wall (gets quite a bit of sun), which we thought we could cover with a spreading vine....
view the full question and answer

Controlling erosion in Leburn KY
July 21, 2009 - I would really appreciate advice on controlling a serious erosion problem in eastern Kentucky. The slope is north facing, shady and moist with rich soil. Would prefer to use native Kentucky plants. ...
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss for Mason County, TX
August 19, 2009 - I am interested in planting buffalo grass at a ranch home in between Mason and Fredericksburg, TX. I've read buffalograss doesn't do well in sandy soils, which this area (Hilda, TX) seems to have a ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center